Warmer temperatures mean a farewell to clunky boots and bulky coats, but it also means it's time for your building or HOA to shake off the snow and ice and take stock of any damage or wear-and-tear inflicted by the winter months.
Harsh weather and lack of regular maintenance during the winter can take a toll on nearly every aspect of an HOA’s buildings and grounds. Unfortunately, raking a few flowerbeds of old leaves and power washing the siding may be the least of your worries come spring. Long winters generally bring about a plethora of water-induced damage. This damage is best evaluated by the association, board or property manager during a seasonal walk-through—a time for HOA administrators to assess exactly what’s gone on during the harsh winter and formulate a game plan to deal with maintenance issues of both immediate and long-term priority.
Who Should Do the Walk-Through?
There is no stealth team of owners, board members or landscape committee members necessary to examine a property—but it is important that the property manager and at least two board members participate in the primary seasonal walk-through. The more sets of eyes—and a clear understanding board members have of their own property—the better for the HOA as a whole.
"Hopefully if you're hiring a good property management company, they'll be the vehicle to get everybody out there,” says Rob Hastings, vice president of operations for MAMCO Property Management in Mt. Laurel. "When we go through our properties, I generally like to get at least one board member to come along."
“Usually the manager and the vendor who did the snow removal walk the site first for any snow removal damage,” adds Robert Teeling, an executive director for the Northern New Jersey region of Wentworth Property Management. “Then the manager and if a board member wants to walk the site for other damages. If there is a grounds committee, they sometimes do it as well.”